Can't wait for New Zealand versus Canada tomorrow night. That will be THRILLING. NZ will probably demolish Canada like they demolished Italy. GO THE MIGHTY, MIGHTY ALL BLACKS!
I get the feeling I’ve seen this before. I’ve sat down, picked up the remote, and turned on the TV, and found a very familiar scene. The show may be advertised as an entirely new series, but the similarities to others that I have seen cannot be ignored, and the startling amount of similarities I find quite alarming. Wondering whatever happened to originality and new ideas, I decide to go channel surfing, and flick through the channels. With the exception of some strange foreign language show I can’t understand and probably wouldn’t understand even if it was in English, it’s all a much of a muchness. Nothing new here, nothing new there. Just the same basic ideas, advertised as something completely new and different. It’s a common marketing tactic, advertising something old as something completely new, revolutionary, and most certainly different to that something old. And what is it that is being marketed as something new when it’s really old? What is it that’s filling the airwaves on most channels? What is it that I find incredibly familiar? Reality TV, that’s what.
Ladies and gentlemen, for the last few years, reality TV has exploded onto the airwaves, if not in bursts of popularity but in bursts of publicity. Beginning with the original series of Survivor, it has now swelled to a massive industry, and there are so many reality shows vying for airspace that one could be forgiven for completely losing count of them. From shows such as Backyard Blitz to the one that started it all, Survivor, they are everywhere. Originally creative and exciting, they have turned into a fad, become unoriginal, and are hijacking airwaves at the expense of other arguably more worthy programming. And one question must be asked: is it really reality?
When it first debuted, Survivor captured the imagination of many countries. Following the progress of a group of people stranded on a desert island, with the final remaining contest winning a monetary prize, the ratings for the show were astonishing, and from there, things snowballed. There have been multiple series’ of Survivor – including one made in Australia – and it led on to the fad that we are now experiencing. Some may remember the Pokemon fad from a few years ago, when every second children’s conversation was about it. It now seems that reality TV is doing a similar thing to television: every second show is of the reality genre. Ideas are being reused at a remarkable rate – one cannot fail to notice striking similarities between shows such as Australian Idol and Popstars – and other shows are producing series after series ad nauseam, with the most notable examples being Survivor and Big Brother. This fad cannot last. Soon, the unoriginality will get the better of the creators. Once highly original, reality TV has become so dull and unoriginal that when a show appears, many comparisons can be made to prior series of the same show or other shows. From my own viewing, the third series of Survivor was boringly similar to the two that went before it, and the three Big Brother series’ have been basically just the same thing with varying faces. Sooner or later, people are going to tire of this, are going to demand something new, and reality TV will collapse under its own weight.
But is it even reality? The simple answer is: no, it isn’t. It is about as real as Seinfeld or The Simpsons. To call it ‘reality TV’ is a misnomer. To be reality TV, it would need to be of reality, that is day-to-day life or of current events. The former is most often boring or, when exciting, hard to capture on television, and the latter is already covered by the news and is not always pleasant viewing. Practically all shows categorised in the reality genre are, in reality – pardon the pun – far from it.
Take Big Brother as an example. This show is supposed to be a look into the day-to-day life of a group of people, but any claims of it being representative of the true reality are dubious at best. Imagine that you have been put in a house with a bunch of people you have never met before. You have limited food supplies, you know full well TV cameras are monitoring your every move, and you can’t go about daily activities like watching TV, heading down to the shops, phoning your friends, or anything like that. Where’s the reality? It’s a completely unrealistic situation that would never happen on anything but a TV programme, and to give it the label of ‘reality TV’ is false advertising.
Then there’s Survivor. You’re stranded on a desert island or in some other isolated location with little more than the clothes you’re wearing, you’re with a group of people you don’t know at all, you have to perform challenges to earn food and other supplies, and a lot of the show is based around making yourself valuable at the expense of others, and competing for some cash prize. How can this be touted as reality TV? The very name ‘reality TV’ suggests that it is of REALITY – this is plainly obvious – and yet the premise of Survivor bears very few similarities to reality.
So not only has reality TV become a fad and unoriginal – even if, in its early days it was highly original and creative – it is also nothing like what it claims to be. It is not a fair representation of reality, because all of the situations that appear on so-called reality shows are far from any situation that would happen in real life – the only place they’d happen in is on TV. It takes false advertising to a radical extreme through its very name.
I've done something very odd to my neck. It's like I've twisted a muscle or something, and when I move it at any speed, it hurts quite a bit. I don't even know what caused it - it just hit me while I was in the shower. GRR. It better go away tonight. Having a sore neck would be *pun alert* a real pain in the neck.
w00t, I get Monday next week off! The teachers have some day where they do some assessment work or something - the official title is "Year 12 Moderation Day", whatever that's meant to mean - and thus year 11 and 12 classes are not held. SQUEE, I like this idea of a day off. I'll try to get my speech (top priority) and English short story first draft finished by then, and get some work done on my SOR assignment. I think I've finally figured out how I'm going to conclude it, by leaving the viewer hanging, left to make up their own mind. I want to get people thinking.
Bah, I have maths homework I don't want to do tonight. Differentiation is so insanely boring. Easy, but boring.